Succulents are shallow rooted so that they can be planted under trees without having to compete with the tree roots. When it is time to clean up however, it can be painful and time consuming. This is what this bed looks like in spring and summer. A few of my succulents are planted under the Cotinus ‘coggygria ‘ (SMOKE TREE). The tree is beautiful and perfectly trained for this small space. It is deciduous and that means clean up will be needed during the fall. This is what I have to deal with Dried up leaves fall in between the Aloe ‘nobilis’. Tweezer comes in handy to individually remove all these leaves. It takes a lot of patience and time.Weeding. This is how I weed in between my succulents. I don’t see any other way without hurting the plants. It also helps me get to the weed roots and ensure their removal. Again, patience and time.While adding some soil to a upper part of the bed, some of the dirt were mistakenly dropped in this Aloe. The easy way to clean up would have been to just hose off the dirt. I choose not to do that with the fear that water will just sit in that dirt and may cause the plant to rot. So, the other option was to take the time to brush off the dirt one section at a time. It is a pain and consuming task. In the process of cleaning up leaves and weeds, it is also time to re access what needs to be cut, what needs to be removed or replaced. I held off in cutting this old Crassula ‘perfoliata’ stem for the last couple of years because of the beautiful red flowers displays that this old dude provided. Now, it is time to say goodbye. The old branch is now cut all the way at the bottom. Hasta La Vista baby.
Here it is. All the frost damaged succulents are removed, area is weeded and cleaned up. Oh my, it does look really bare now. I need to be really careful with what to plant because of our serious drought situation in California. For a small bed like this, I felt like it took forever to clean it up. Ten more areas to do. Oh ! the joy of gardening.
I’ll salvage some of these cuttings and place them in my Succulent Hospital or I should say “Purgatory”. For those who do not know what purgatory is, “it is a place between heaven and hell”.
Planting succulents in an open area like this will help minimize clean up of fallen tree leaves. The only challenge is providing shade from the scorching summer sun and again covering the entire bed with freeze cloth in the winter when freeze is predicted. So, what price am I willing to pay?
It is also much easier to maintain if plant in containers are kept away from deciduous trees. Perhaps, I should consider more of container gardening with succulents ? How do you garden with succulents?
~ Till next time ~